I’m still kind of fuzzy on the details but I welcome people looking into this and providing more info. This is backed by Google Ventures among other so it looks legit.
Ripple Labs has created a new currency and is giving it away to people who donate computer time on IBM’s World Community Grid. You need to sign up there, download the BOINC software that let’s you run the scientific research projects WCG does and then sign up at Computing for Good. You will also need to create a Ripple client wallet to receive your XRP credits.
I’ve participated as a volunteer at WCG for many years and as I said, it’s run as a charity by IBM so I know for a fact that WCG is a legit charitable organization. The only catch is that once you are all set up, you have to join the Ripple Labs team in order to receive the XRP credits. Joining a team is optional at WCG however.
Anyway, the work that they do is pretty much all medical and scientific research using distributed computer processing on hundreds of thousands of computers run by volunteers all across the globe. You can see the current and completed projects here.